Pollution Control Standards

ORSANCO sets Pollution Control Standards for industrial and municipal waste water discharges to the Ohio River, and tracks certain dischargers whose effluent can seriously impact water quality. The standards designate specific uses for the Ohio River, and establish guidelines to ensure that the river is capable of supporting these uses. To keep pace with current issues, ORSANCO strives to review the standards at least every three years. As part of the review process, workshops and public hearings are held for public input.

Review Process for Ohio River Pollution Control Standards:

Each review consists of the following steps:

1. An initial public comment period, in which comments are sought on all aspects of the Standards.
2. Consideration of the public comments received and formulation of specific proposals for revisions to the Standards.
3. A second public comment period on specific proposed revisions.
4. Consideration of comments on proposed revisions and Commission adoption of revisions.

2018 Review of Pollution Control Standards:

The Commission is accepting public comments, and technical and scientific studies and data supporting those comments, now through February 24, 2018, to assist in a new review and update of its current Pollution Control Standards for discharges to the Ohio River – 2015 Revision. The purpose of the public comment period is to receive input from interested parties on all aspects of the standards which will be considered by the Commission. ORSANCO is particularly interested in receiving technical and scientific information or data that supports comments on proposals for revising the Standards.

Initial Issue Already Identified

This review of the Pollution Control Standards differs from past reviews in that it asks your input on whether ORSANCO should continue to maintain, administer, and periodically update the current Pollution Control Standards, or should eliminate the Pollution Control Standards and withdraw from the process of maintaining and updating such standards.

An Ad Hoc Committee on Water Quality Standards Implementation has developed and evaluated five (5) alternatives regarding the continuation, modification, or elimination of the ORSANCO Pollution Control Standards and future involvement by ORSANCO in the standard-setting process. That Committee advanced those five alternatives to the ORSANCO advisory committees, each of which has provided written comments on the alternatives.

A majority of the Ad Hoc Committee members, and a majority of current ORSANCO Commission members, favor an expanded version of Alternative 2, which would eliminate Chapters 3 and 4 of the Pollution Control Standards on water criteria and mixing zones, and eliminate portions of Chapter 5. That preference is not unanimous among the Commissioners, and a minority report accompanying the expanded discussion of Alternative 2 is contained in the package of materials for your review. The package for your review includes the five (5) alternatives, with an expanded discussion of the alternative favored by a majority of the Commission members and a minority report, as well as the written comments of the ORSANCO advisory committees.

The Commission wishes to stress that no final decision has been made with respect to the future of the Pollution Control Standards or ORSANCO’s maintenance of Pollution Control Standards. Now that the Ad Hoc Committee has presented the alternatives, and a majority of the Commission has indicated a preliminary preference and has sought and received the comments of the advisory committees, it is your turn to give the Commission your comments, your suggestions, and your feedback on the future of ORSANCO’s Pollution Control Standards.

Review Process and Schedule

ORSANCO is inviting comment on all of the alternatives developed and evaluated by the Ad Hoc Committee, including the alternative tentatively preferred by a majority of the Commission members. In order to facilitate public input and provide for a transparent review process, ORSANCO will host two webinars to present an overview of the review it conducted and the specific issues and alternatives considered during that review. These webinars have been scheduled for January 24 at 3:00pm (eastern) and January 31 at 6:00pm (eastern).

A public hearing on this standards revision has not yet been scheduled but will be announced through another press release and convened prior to the Commission taking any action to revise its standards. If you are unable to attend either webinar, the presentation will be available on this webpage by early February and questions can be directed to ORSANCO at 513-231-7719.

Instructions for Webinar Participation

Participation in webinars requires simultaneous access to the internet and a telephone.
For complete webinar directions, please visit: http://www.orsanco.org/webinar-directions/

Instructions for Submitting Comments (must be received by February 24, 2018)

All parties interested in submitting comments may do so by mail or email. Mailed comments should be addressed to ORSANCO, 5735 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45230, Attn: PCS Comments. Emailed comments should be sent to: PCS@orsanco.org Emailed comments must be sent by the original submitter. Third party emails will not be accepted in order to protect data systems integrity. Comments must be included in the body of the email. Email attachments will not be accepted in order to protect data systems integrity. Please contact ORSANCO directly at 513-231-7719 for instructions on submitting technical and scientific information or data since email attachments cannot be accepted. Your name and mailing address must accompany all correspondence.

Supporting Materials

Click here for the five alternatives under consideration.

Click here for the Expanded Alternative #2, which is preferred by a majority of ad hoc committee members, and a Minority Report describing the position of a minority of ad hoc committee members.

Click here for a summary of comments on the alternatives by ORSANCO’s advisory committees and Technical Committee.

Click here for a mock-up of revised standards, for illustrative purposes, as they might look based on Alternative #2 (marked up version).

Click here for a mock-up of revised standards, for illustrative purposes, as they might look based on Alternative #2 (clean version).

Click here to view the January 24th, 2018 Pollution Control Standards webinar.

Click here to view the January 31st, 2018 Pollution Control Standards webinar.

Click here to view the compilation of water quality criteria applicable to the Ohio River.

2015 Revision to Pollution Control Standards (Current Revision)

Click here for the 2015 Standards.